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4 October 2016

Coach on Tuesday's victory at The Hive

DMITRI Halajko has no doubts that progression into the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy will benefit City's young players.

Experience and youth combined to help a Canaries Development side qualify from the Southern Group F with a resounding 5-0 win at Barnet on Tuesday night.

Josh Murphy struck a hat-trick against the ten-man hosts, with Sergi Canos and Nelson Oliveira also finding the target in a rampant second half for Halajko's team.

He said afterwards: "We came here to win the game, we thought that would give us a really chance of going through, and the lads produced.

"I think it (red card) did put the advantage in our favour, but I thought we started to change the game around five minutes before then when we started to get the ball down and pass it.

"We felt as soon as we got hold of the football, we had enough to hurt them, but the red card gave us an advantage as well.

"This gives us more fixtures at this level. The more fixtures, the better we can develop our players. We always wanted to get out of the group and we achieved that tonight."

Manager Alex Neil and his coaching staff watched on as a number of their first-team players saw action, with Alex Pritchard also among those to get minutes.

Halajko highlighted City's development strategy, commenting: "Our club does well with the partnership between the first-team and the Under-23s.

"Out there tonight we had a 16-year-old playing centre half (Timi Odusina), and then players at the top end of the pitch who have been bought for big money.

"To have those blend together well as a team is what we're looking for.

"The manager is very supportive to the programme. He will be at every game, he will come in the changing room at half-time and full-time and it's a benefit to what we're doing."

On hat-trick hero Murphy, Halajko added: "Josh and his brother have been in the programme for a long time, so it's good for the Academy to see them come through.

"They're a big credit to themselves and everybody at the Academy is really happy to see what they're achieving."

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